Using #lowcode and #nocode tools at my disposal
It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a dedicated coding time. It’s not a surprise as I stepped into a people management role 100% from an individual contributor role many years ago. I still very much like to be a maker, but these days, I am often creating via words rather than code.
So when I had the opportunity to create something a few weeks ago and re-live my developer days, I jumped at it. Without any further ado, let me tell you about how I created a social justice startup in four Hours called BeAnAlly. BeAnAlly is a movement to encourage privileged majorities to support minorities in the tech industry by reminding them to take a simple action every day. For the startup, I built a browser extension and created Zoom backgrounds.
The reason why I want to share this with you is because I’d like to highlight the fact that you don’t need to spend days, weeks, or even months to put something out there on the internet, whether to test your hypothesis, to start a movement, or to make your idea into a reality, especially in today’s technology landscape. Gone are the days when you need to outsource software development to freelancers across the globe. Today, it’s easier than ever for anyone to build a startup with a bit of technical know-how, creativity, and resourcefulness.
Below, you’ll find various activities that I carried out for my startup, how much time was spent on each of them, and what they were.
Normally, I’d log in to a domain registrar, purchase a domain name, get DSN record changed, etc., etc.
But with platforms like bit.ly and Medium, I didn’t need to do any of that. I got a “domain name” and “hosting” sorted in five minutes.
I am all for #nocode and #lowcode these days so I decided to use Zapier.
I created a multi-step zap with a schedule that looks up a Google Sheets that contains a list of Be An Ally actions, picks a random one, and sends a Slack message.
Be an Ally Zap
Creating the zap itself was easy because there was a tutorial on it. I actually spent most of my time looking for and coming up with actionable tips for allies (most of them are from Better Allies®) and populating my database — aka Google Sheets.
However, as I was ready to test it, I found out that the Slack Workspace I wanted to add the bot to doesn’t have an integration with Zapier, for sensible security reasons. So I decided to pivot. After all, what’s a startup without some pivoting, right?
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